Find a School >
Healthcare Colleges Home > Healthcare Programs > EMT Programs

EMT Programs

EMT Programs

What Is An EMT?

Emergency medical technicians serve crucial roles in the healthcare system. As the first to arrive on scene, EMTs support doctors and law enforcement officials with emergency services in times of crisis. EMTs also provide safe, assisted transportation of patients to medical facilities as needed. These professionals typically can evaluate patient condition, stabilize fractures, use ventilation devices to maintain breathing and administer basic medications. EMTs need to follow proper safety procedures to protect themselves and patients.

EMT programs help to prepare students for high pressure careers assisting patients in the field. The required level of training may lead to opportunities for basic, intermediate or advanced-level EMTs and paramedics. Specific duties beyond patient transport vary according to state regulations, but paramedics generally can undertake more advanced activities, for example, performing blood transfusions, administering intravenous medications and using equipment such as EKG monitors. The graduated nature of EMT training, certification and licensure offers a clear path through the various career roles. For more information, see our EMT-Paramedics career page.

EMT Program Information

Institutions including state universities, community colleges and trade schools offer various degrees of EMT training, as well as the continuing education courses that may be required after graduation. Distance learning EMT schools tend to offer hybrid programs combining in-person exercises and testing with online instruction.

Basic EMT training covers content such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, basic life support, ambulance operations, and care for pediatric and OB/GYN emergencies. Students typically undertake a clinical rotation for practice and also "ride-along" observation in emergency response vehicle. Intermediate or enhanced EMT courses could explore pharmacology, venous access, history taking, traumatic emergencies and other topics. Most EMTs also pursue specialized training for ambulance drivers.

EMTs must undergo formal training and obtain a license, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certifies professionals across the country, and the examination has both written and practical sections. States may accept the NREMT as qualification for licensing, or they may require candidates to pass state examinations. (bls.gov/ooh)

EMT Program Types

Most EMT schools offer modular training courses that match the various degrees of NREMT certification. Prerequisites may include a high school diploma (or the equivalent), a minimum age, a physical examination, proof of immunizations, drug testing, a background check, proof of health insurance and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification. Types of programs include these:

  • Certificate: The length of these programs varies. Students in hybrid programs can potentially earn a certificate over the course of three to six months by blending formal training with supervised field internship experience.
  • Associate Degree: Students may be able to complete this program in approximately two years. Many students use this coursework toward their goal of converting a Basic EMT certification into Advanced EMT or Paramedic certification.
  • Bachelor's Degree: EMT training is one part of a broader approach, often focused on public health administration or emergency management. Students who can apply credits from associate degree studies could accelerate their completion of these typically four-year programs. Graduates can combine their formal training with EMT experience to pursue management roles in healthcare companies or with public agencies.

EMT Course Descriptions

The EMT curriculum may vary between programs and schools. The various levels of EMT courses, such as basic or enhanced EMT studies, tackle different subjects. Common courses could include the following:

  • Patient Assessment: Students can study how to evaluate patients and triage victims during emergencies.
  • Emergency Management: Courses explore first response procedures and discuss how to secure accident scenes, mitigate natural disasters and combat the immediate effects of terrorist attacks.
  • Healthcare Technology: Ambulances carry equipment that can save patients' lives before they reach the hospital. Students can learn when and how to operate crucial tools and machines.
  • Public Health Management: Often found in bachelor's degree programs, these studies may focus on broader causes for illness and injury, helping students put their work in context.

Courses may be designed to help prepare EMTs to pass certification exams. More advanced classes may cultivate management skills useful in potential leadership roles in public organizations and at private healthcare employers.

Related Career Options

EMTs can explore diverse employment situations, especially in metropolitan areas with specialized healthcare providers and emergency service units. For example, EMTs with basic skills can work for private ambulance services, assisted living facilities and healthcare operations that transport patients in non-life-threatening situations. With advanced training, EMTs can seek jobs as emergency responders with government agencies and relief organizations.

Emergency medical technicians may pursue various related occupations, depending on the required education and experience. Potential career options include:

  • Emergency Management Directors: These managers create plans for responses to natural and other disasters, and they usually have a bachelor's degree as well as experience and training in the field of disaster preparedness.
  • Firefighters: These professionals respond to fires and other emergency situations, and they may be the first personnel to arrive in cases of accidents or emergencies.
  • Registered Nurses: RNs oversee a wide range of patient care activities and offer support for patients and their families. These nurses may have a nursing diploma or an undergraduate degree in nursing.

Links to Sources and Associations

The following websites offer more information about emergency medical technician training programs:

EMTs and Paramedics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
Emergency Management Directors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
What is EMS?, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, 2013

Explore these online and campus healthcare programs

Refine School Matches
Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
Clear All

See More




Results:  7
Matching School Ads
Veterinary Assistant
  • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
  • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
  • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
  • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
  • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
Phlebotomy Technician I
US Colleges , San Diego
  • Offers health care and business programs that prepare students to enter the working field in as little as 8-16 weeks.
  • Provides morning, afternoon, and evening classes for most courses.
  • Offers career placement assistance to help students with their resumes, job-searching techniques, interview practice, and more.
  • Engages students through hands-on learning in labs, internships, and externships.  
  • Gives students the option to break up tuition costs into interest-free payments over the course of their education.  
Show more [+]
Healthcare Administration (BS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
Dental Assisting
Good for Working Adults
  • Offers medical and cosmetic programs, including dental assisting, massage therapy, cosmetology, esthetics, and more.
  • Features a public salon and spa where students may get real-world experience.
  • Offers scholarship opportunities for students wo qualify.
  • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 2 separate Vacaville campuses, one is for medical careers and the other is the beauty academy.
Show more [+]
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
Master's – Healthcare Management
  • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
  • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
  • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
  • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
  • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

  • Online Courses